If you haven’t heard, Ford has two new V-8 engines coming, a 6.7L diesel and a 6.2L gas engine, and they both need heavy-duty Ford transmissions backing them up if the F-Series Super Duty’s are going perform like they should. But why build two transmissions when you can use one? Enter Ford’s new TorqShift 6R140 six-speed automatic.
As you likely know, diesels and gas engines are very different beasts. Where the diesel spins slow and makes its power at low RPMs, gas engines rev high and make their power at higher RPMs. So how do you build a transmission that’s good for both? With the TorqShift, Ford says they’ve done it.
The biggest issue Ford faced was making the TorqShift able to stand up to the diesel’s torque. The Lepelletier powerflow design has been around for a long time, but it’s not typically found in diesels due to their massive torque. By using a proprietary powder-metal compound in the planetary gear carrier, Ford was able to beef up the system enough to handle the burly diesel engine. Why go to all this trouble? Because sticking with the Lepelletier system reduces complexity by reducing the number of clutches needed (five for the six gears) and slowing down the clutches, all of which improves transmission efficiency and therefore fuel efficiency and power output at the wheels.
“With this architecture, the new transmission can handle the enormous low-end torque produced by the new diesel engine as well as the high speeds produced by the new gas engine,” said Al Bruck, TorqShift transmission engineering manager at Ford. “The sinter-brazed gearset enables more torque capacity and greater engine speed capability.”
Other tricks hidden in the new transmission include a deeper first-gear ratio for better performance off the line coupled with a special one-way clutch that smooths out 1-2 shifts. Once you’re moving, the long-travel, high-capacity turbine dampener in the torque converter soaks up the shocks and vibrations of the big engines and allows the diesel engine to chug along at a measly 900 RPM, saving fuel.
That’s just scratching the surface of this transmission’s capabilities. It also comes with Ford’s SelectShift program that features Progressive Range Select and full manual shifting. The former allows you limit which gears the transmission uses while still having it shift automatically, good for hauling and steep grades. The latter allows you to pick the gears yourself without interference from the computer. Aiding both of those programs in helping you haul is Ford’s Tow Haul mode, which uses a network of sensors to predict when you need a downshift to enhance engine braking.
All those features are nice, but those of you planning to use your Super Duty for some real heavy-duty work will appreciate this option: the only Live Drive PTO in the segment. Whereas other trucks equipped with a PTO require you to be stopped to use it, the TorqShift’s Live Drive PTO is always operational and can be used while the vehicle is in motion. From farm work to snow plowing, the ability to make adjustments to PTO-driven equipment on the move is a handy time-saving feature.
“Our new transmission perfectly complements our new diesel and gasoline engines to give the customer the best powertrain for Super Duty applications,” said Bruck. “Rigorous testing ensures our transmission and powertrain is up to the challenge of even our most demanding Super Duty customers. Overall, the 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed transmission enables greater customer capability, efficiency and control than ever before.” Source: Ford.
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